Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Castle

In this era of on-demand entertainment [through cable, Amazon, Netflix streaming, DVR, etc.] I no longer organize my week around favorite TV shows. I follow almost none. Even when I find something I enjoy I can never remember when it's on. I do like ABC's Castle and fortunately I can catch up on it whenever I like. S.T. Karnik writes about the new season here explaining clearly part of why I find it so appealing.
For those who haven’t seen the series, Castle is a semi-comical police procedural about a bestselling mystery author, Richard Castle, who gets himself partnered up with a beautiful female police detective in Manhattan to help solve crimes. The implausibility of the premise is no impediment to enjoyment of the show, as Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic are both a delight to watch as the central characters—their skill as performers is evident and easy to appreciate.

In addition, and even more importantly, the gaudy premise matches the show’s narrative style: it is a throwback to the great tradition of American surrealistic mysteries of the 1930s and ’40s. ....

.... In their way they conveyed a sense of American life as a realm of astonishing possibilities ultimately grounded in common sense, logic, and morality. It’s a form of fiction I enjoy greatly and which I think has much to recommend it.

Castle is in that tradition. A typical episode will begin with a bizarre murder, and then progress to the investigation of a series of quirky or downright weird suspects and witnesses, and other additionally bizarre clues, while the two lead characters work out matters from their personal lives and their powerful but largely unacknowledged attraction toward each other. It’s great fun, although the events of the show are serious and often have important implications, which the writers do a good job of bringing out. .... [more]
ABC’s ‘Castle’ Is Back on Its Surrealistic Track | The American Culture